Jesus Christ is the lamb who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1:29).  Peter adds that “he was the lamb without blemish.” (1 Peter 1:19) – Referring to being without defect, either physically or morally.[1]

Sinlessness in our Lord means that He never did anything that displeased God, violated the Mosaic Law under which He lived on earth, or in any way failed to show in His life at all times the glory of God (John 8:29). It does not exclude His experiencing sinless limitations that accompany humanity. For example, He was weary (4:6); He was hungry (Matt. 4:2; 21:18); He was thirsty (John 19:28); He slept (Matt. 8:24). But at every stage of His life, infancy, boyhood, adolescence, manhood, He was holy and sinless[2]

Evidence of Christ’s Sinlessness
A plethora of scriptures affirm Christ’s sinlessness. These range from Christ self-claims to the affirmations of others including his accusers.

  1. Affirmation by God the father
    • Matthew 3:17; 17:5 – The father was well pleased
  2. Jesus Self-claims of sinlessness
    • John 8:29 – He claimed to do always those things that pleased the Father
    • John 15:10 – He said that He kept the Father’s commandments
    • John 8:46 – He challenged His enemies to show that He was a sinner, which they could not do
    • Matt. 22:15 – They failed in their attempts to trap Him by using something He said
  3. Angelic Aclamation
    • Luke 1:35 – Jesus was announced as a holy Child
  4. Apostles and Disciple’s affirmations
    • 2 Cor. 5:21 – Paul said of our Lord that He “knew no sin”
    • 1 Pet. 2:22 – Peter also declared that Christ did not commit any sin, nor was deceit ever found in His mouth
    • 1 Peter 1:19 – He was a Lamb without blemish and without spot
    • 1 John 3:5 – In Christ was no sin
    • Hebrews 4:15 – He was without sin
    • Hebrews 7:26 – He was holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners
    • Hebrews 7:27 – and without any need of offering sacrifices for Himself
    • Furthermore, there is no record of our Lord ever offering a single sacrifice, though He frequented the temple. This silence speaks of the fact that He did not need to do so since He was without sin.[4]
  5. Declarations by others
    Jesus was acknowledged as innocent:
    • By Judas, Matt. 27:4;
    • By Pilate six times, 27:24, Luke 23:14, 22; John 18:38; 19:4, 6;
    • By Herod Antipas, Luke 23:15; by Pilate’s wife, Matt. 27:19;
    •  By the repentant thief, Luke 23:41;
    • And by the Roman centurion, Matt. 27:54)

Scriptural reasoning for Christ’s sinlessness
Mark 10:45 declares “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
About Jesus, John wrote “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).

For Jesus Christ to be our ransom, or atoning sacrifice (propitiation), he has to be sinless. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). If Christ had sin in him, he would have to pay for his own sin.

From Hebrews 2:14-18 we read:
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, m fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Again, the author of Hebrews wrote:
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart

Elsewhere, Peter wrote:
“… but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Why Christ’s Sinlessness matters
That Christ is sinless:

  1. Qualifies Him to die for others; namely sinners.
  2. Renders Him the victorious over our enemy and accuser – we can, therefore, be victorious in Christ.
  3. Designates Him as our merciful and faithful Priest – he intercedes for us; he understands and sympathizes with us in our trials.
  4. Makes Him a perfect example of a possible righteous living for believers. Not that they could live one without him, but looking to him for grace and encouragement.
  5. Means that He can be trusted and believed for justification from sin (salvation).

[1] Rodrigues, A. M. (2014). Perfection. D. Mangum, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, & R. Hurst (Eds.), Lexham Theological Wordbook. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[2] Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (p. 303). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

[3] Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (pp. 304–305). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

[4] Ryrie, C. C. (1999). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (p. 303). Chicago, IL: Moody Press.

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